The season's almost done – this is the last series we'll be facing the Rangers until 2016. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective about watching bad baseball. But 2016 is around the corner.
Today's game is going to be a major step in evaluating a guy who might be a major piece for the A's next year – Sean Nolin (0-1, 4.50) will be making his second start with the A's in his September audition for a rotation spot.He won't be bailed out by subpar September teams – the Rangers are firmly in the mix for a wildcard spot, and are trying to challenge the Astros for the AL West crown.
He'll have to do better than his 1 K/3 BB performance his last time out, but it's not an ideal situation. Nolin is an extreme flyball pitcher, and the Ballpark in Arlington is famously tough on those types of pitchers. He will have the platoon advantage on most of the lineup, as the only terrifying RHH the Rangers have is Adrian Beltre, who is in the midst of the worst offensive season of his career (85 wRC+).
Meanwhile, Yovani Gallardo (12-9, 3.16) is almost silently putting together a really solid season. Although the peripherals don't really bear it out – 5.73 K/9, 3.33 BB/9 – he's been the backbone of the Rangers' staff. A high 50.1% GB rate doesn't hurt either.
Here are the lineups:
|OAKLAND A'S||TEXAS RANGERS|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Delino DeShields Jr. - CF|
|Mark Canha - LF||Shin-Soo Choo - RF|
|Josh Reddick - RF||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Danny Valencia - 3B||Prince Fielder - DH|
|Brett Lawrie - 2B||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Billy Butler - DH||Elvis Andrus - SS|
|Max Muncy - 1B||Rougned Odor - 2B|
|Josh Phegley - C||Ryan Rua - LF|
|Sam Fuld - CF||Bobby Wilson - C|
|Sean Nolin - LHP||Yovani Gallardo - RHP|